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Physical Education


Bachelor of Arts

This program is open to students who are also enrolled in Briar Cliff's teacher education program. BCU's nationally recognized physical education program employs a modified verison of National Association for Sport and Physical Education’s Standards for Advance Programs in Physical Education Teacher Education. They are as follows:

Standard 1: Content Knowledge

  • Analyze, diagnose and provide appropriate cues for physical activity performance to maximize student practice and learning on a regular basis.
  • Apply a variety of concepts from disciplinary knowledge (motor development and learning exercise science, sociology and psychology of movement, history and philosophy, and pedagogy) when planning and implementing instruction.
  • Demonstrate expertise in multiple forms of physical activity including, but not limited to, adventure activities, aquatics, fitness activities, dance, games, sports, gymnastic activities and marital arts.

Standard 2: Curricular Knowledge

  • Produce materials that articulate a sound Vision and align with NASPE standards, including written documentation that is shared with constituents.
  • Use program evaluation data and relevant technologies continuously to inform revision of curriculum. Differentiate the merits of several curricular models and select the most appropriate model to match learners' needs and contextual variables (e.g. climate, region and facilities).
  • Explain and demonstrate connections between disciplinary and pedagogical knowledge when selecting and sequencing curriculum content.

Standard 3: Equity/Fairness/Diversity

  • Encourage and model equity and fairness for all students.
  • Critique and implement curricula that challenges students to value and respect individual and cultural differences and hold them accountable for demonstrating respect.
  • Promote expectations that students will demonstrate ethical, moral and fair relationships with others and within and beyond the school's context.
  • Assess students' understanding of the consequences of inappropriate language and behavior related to issues of equity, fairness and diversity.

Standard 4: Sound Teaching Practices

  • Consistently arrange activities that engage all students in meaningful teaming tasks.
  • Create learning environments, using relevant technologies, that promote interest and foster persistence in a variety of physical activities (e.g. games, gymnastics, dance, aquatics, etc.) to encourage students to become competent members of these movement cultures beyond the school setting.
  • Create learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse students.
  • Understand how social and cultural relationships among family, peer group, school and community can influence students' learning and engagement in physical activities.

Standard 5: Assessment

  • Use authentic assessments regularly and interpret results to inform teaching and learning.
  • Apply authentic assessment techniques that are aligned with program philosophy, goals, learning experiences and student learning outcomes.

Standard 6: High Expectations for a Physically Active Lifestyle

  • Plan and implement lessons that promote student responsibility, decision-making, problem solving and cooperation in their own and others' learning and encourage the adoption of a physically active lifestyle.
  • Consistently demonstrate high levels of student engagement in meaningful learning tasks that lead to student competence in fundamental skills and proficiency in a few fundamental skills and proficiency in a few movement forms.
  • Promote high expectations for student involvement in regular physical activity beyond the school setting.

Standard 7: Methods of Inquiry

  • Examine and apply research on teaching and learning in physical education.
  • Conduct and facilitate teacher- and classroom-based research regularly.
  • Employ relevant technologies when seeking, analyzing and disseminating information.

Core Physical Education Courses

BIOL 221 - Human Anatomy

A study of the structure of the human body at the four structural levels (cells, tissues, organs and systems) and the relationship of its parts. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

BIOL 222 - Human Physiology

A study of the functions of the cells and organ systems of the human body. Three lectures, one lab per week. Read more »

HPER 118 - Personal and Community Health

An introductory course concerned with the many factors which influence a person's health. Special consideration is afforded the subject areas of substance abuse, disease and holistic health. Consideration is also given to the functions which various health agencies serve and to the modern technological advances which have been accomplished in health. Read more »

HPER 119 - Introduction to and History of Physical Education

Health Education and Recreation 3 sem. hrs. The student is introduced to five foundational areas - the historical, philosophical, psychological, physiological and sociological - of physical education, health education and recreation. A sixth unit in the course is designed to orient the student to the scope of the profession, including professional opportunities in the allied areas such as health, safety education and recreation. Read more »

HPER 214 - Physical Education Activities for Pre-K to 6 Elementary Schools

This course will be a curriculum of physical education activities for grades K-6. The program will include fitness concepts, movement education, perceptual-motor concepts, manipulative activities and the acquisition of skills. Varied and new experiences for each grade level will be emphasized. There will be a stress on the necessity of child success and accomplishment through Elementary Physical Education. Read more »

HPER 338 - Teaching Movement Pre K-6

This course is designed to give the physical education major teaching experience in primary and upper elementary physical education. Planning of lessons, instructional analysis and formative evaluations will be part of this experience. Conferences with the supervising teacher and observation will be with the instructor of the course. Prerequisite: 214 Read more »

HPER 382 - Curriculum, Computers/Media and Methods of Phys. Ed.

A study of the organization and techniques of teaching physical education activities on the junior high and senior high school levels. Selection of materials, presentation, curriculum content and class organization are all part of the discussion and study. Areas of study include archery, basketball, volleyball, weight training and bowling. Laboratory experiences provided. Prerequisite: Junior HPER major, minor or permission Read more »

HPER 383 - Advanced Physical Education Skills

A study of the organization and techniques of teaching physical education activities on the junior high and senior high school levels. Selection of materials, presentation, curriculum content and class organization are all part of the discussion and study. Areas of study include soccer, softball-baseball, badminton, tennis, racquetball, golf and micro-teaching. Laboratory experiences provided. Prerequisite: Junior HPER major, minor or permission Read more »

HPER 384 - Human Performance and Skill Learning

A study of the scientific foundations of high-level performance and skill learning. Incorporates findings of exercise physiology, psychology and physical education in the area of human movement. Stresses application for the practitioner. Prerequisite: junior standing Read more »

HPER 4(x) - HPER Activity Courses

HPER Activity courses are designed to develop attitudes, appreciation, personal skills and applied techniques in all types of activities included in the physical education program. Minimum standards of skill and knowledge are required for satisfactory completion of each activity unit. See program director for a list. Read more »

HPER 439 - Kinesiology

Study of the basic mechanics involved in human motion, emphasis on the application of anatomy and elementary physics to the teaching of physical activities and sports skills. Prerequisite:junior standing Read more »

HPER 443 - Organization and Administration of Physical Education and Athletics

Physical Education and Athletics 3 sem. hrs. A study into the curriculum, organization and administration of physical education and athletics at the junior high and high school level. Philosophy, facilities, purchasing, budgeting, hiring and supervision are discussed. Prerequisite:junior or senior physical education major Read more »

HPER 64 IR - Fitness Testing and Exercise Prescription

Basic skills and understanding are developed in the art and science of fitness testing and exercise prescription. The conducting of individualized fitness programs for all age groups will be examined. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

One, three-hour HPER elective course is also required, as are two of the following three "IR" courses: HPER 51 IR, 52 IR or 53 IR.

Physical educationo majors must also enroll in six HPER mini courses or experiences, including three activity courses -- one of which must be swimming. See program coordinator for a list.